- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 22, 2010

Organizers of a massive Latin Mass slated for Saturday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception have chosen Tulsa Bishop Edward J. Slattery to oversee the ceremony, after the Colombian cardinal originally slated to preside stepped aside earlier this week after being linked to the church’s clergy sex-abuse scandal.

Bishop Slattery, 69, will officiate at the ornate Tridentine-rite Mass after Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, 80, was forced to cancel after he was exposed in the French press last week for lauding a French bishop who refused to cooperate with authorities to remove a pedophile priest from his duties in 2001.

The leading U.S. advocacy group for victims of clergy abuse had objected publicly to plans by the Bethesda-based Paulus Institute, which helped organize the Latin Mass, to invite the Colombian cardinal to preside.

TWT RELATED STORY: Cardinal won’t lead Mass after scandal

The Tulsa bishop is best known for allowing a traditionalist monastery, Our Lady of the Annunciation Monastery of Clear Creek, to operate in his diocese. Paul King, president of the Paulus Institute, said the bishop’s name was suggested via an e-mail.

“He had experience saying this Mass, and he was available,” Mr. King said, adding the rubrics of the Tridentine-rite Mass are vastly more complicated than an English-language solemn high Mass.

Thousands of participants, including retired Cardinal William Baum, a former archbishop of Washington, are expected to attend the Mass, which will be aired live on EWTN starting at 12:30 p.m. Archbishop of Washington Donald W. Wuerl will not be there, as he is attending a dinner the night before in Atlanta.

Mr. King said the decision to disinvite Cardinal Hoyos was made late Tuesday because of the thousands of extra dollars that would have been required in security costs in the event demonstrators picketed the Mass.

Was the cardinal disappointed?

“I think so,” Mr. King said. “He is an interesting person and a devout person.”

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